Vol. 1 No. 1                                      "India is the cradle of the human race... " - Mark Twain
August 2006 
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16th annual Miss India-Canada Pageant
A night of entertainment and glamour

Shobha Nair

(L-R): Hon. Mr. Bharat Agnihotri – MLA from Alberta; Mr. Kavi Raz, Hollywood Actor and Director; Hon. Ms. Ruby Dhalla – MP; 
Singh, Miss India-Canada 2006; Her Excellency Shyamala Cowsik, High Commissioner of India to Canada; 
and Mr. Kush Agnihotri

“Yes of course I’ll attend” was my instant reaction when asked to cover this event.  The Miss India Canada Pageant organized by Canada-India Beauty Quest in association with Movado Group of Canada has been one of most interesting events in the Toronto community for over 10 years.  It has launched the careers of many girls from this country. Since its inception the pageant has not only provided a platform for South Asian women, but has also become a scouting event of sorts for talent seekers. Winners have gone on to make a name both in India (Bollywood) and North America.

It was a night of entertainment and glamour, the 16th annual Miss India-Canada Pageant, organized on July 15 at Doubletree International Plaza Hotel in Toronto.

The Chief Guest for the evening was Her Excellency Shyamala Cowsik, High Commissioner of India to Canada. Mr. Kavi Raaz Hollywood, Writer/ Producer/ Director/ Actor was Special Guest for this year's Pageant.
For his growing contribution to international cinema, Mr. Kush Agnihotri, president of Canada-India Beauty Quest, presented him with the ‘Special Achievement Award’. Members of Parliament and other dignitaries attended the prestigious event.

The evening started with cocktails and mingling of guests, followed by dinner.

Prior to the main event, a moment of silence was observed in memory of victims of the recent bombings in Mumbai.  This was very thoughtful on the part of the organizers. The Her Excellency Shyamala Cowsik gave a Short speech, which was very interesting and interspersed with humorous anecdotes. I am sure, like me, most in the audience enjoyed listening to her experiences.

The 15 contestants looked elegant and confident by demonstrating their talents that came bundled with their beauty and brain. They walked the ramp in Indian costume and evening gown, which the judges evaluated before selecting the top three contenders.  It is very heartening to see our young people in this country excel not only in academics but also in cultural activities.  A special mention should be made of contestant Nisha Ravindranath for her scintillating dance performance. She went on to win the Sunsilk award for for Miss Beautiful Hair.

Sonia Singh bagged the ROGERS people’s choice Award.  The Miss Congeniality Award went to Rajminder Aujla of Toronto, Ontario and Kamel Bains of Surrey British Columbia won Miss Photogenic.

Top 5 Finalists (L-R) in the front row:  Angelie Sood of Unionville, ON; Yamini Shinghal of Montreal, QC; 
Kamel Bains of Surrey, BC;  Nisha Ravindranath of Mississauga, ON; and Simranjit Singh of Ancaster, ON

The final segment of Question & Answer involved asking each contestant a different question on stage before the panel of judges. The audience was treated to an entertainment piece by a Japanese  Drum Group – Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble as everyone waited for the announcement of the winner. 

The winner Simranjit Singh, a 19-year-old native of Ancaster, Ontario well deserved the crown for her talent and the question - answer part. As M
iss India-Canada 2006, Simranjit won over $10,000 in prizes! Simranjit is entering her final year of her undergraduate degree at McMaster University. She has aspirations of becoming an optometrist. During her reign, she wants to try her luck in the entertainment field, and simultaneously, she wants to be a role model to young Indo-Canadians by becoming involved in community events.

The First and Second Runner-up were Yamini Shinghal and Nisha Ravindranath.

The distinguished Panel of Judges were: Pathik Baxi, Barrister & Solicitor; Rahul Bhardwaj, President – Om Financial Inc.; Cory Boisselle, COO/CFO – Movado Group Of Canada Inc.; Dr. Pam Gill, Family Physician; Tosh James, Model Scout – Elmer Olsen Model Management; Pallan Katgara, Director – TCI: Travel Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd.; Cuckoo Kochar, President – DCR / Phoenix Group;  Kass P., On Air Personality, "The Groove" – Flow 93.5; and Shylee Someshwar, President – Visual Rhythms.

For the first time ever, ROGERS and SUNSILK also presented two new awards. Other sponsors included: Air India, Om Financial and Payal Convention Centre.

Mr. Khush Agnihotri and his team put up a good show – well organized and entertaining.  The Emcees Karen Johnson and Suneel Joshi did their part well with a light banter through the evening.
The program concluded around midnight.

[Photos by: M Sagoo]






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